The Ministry of Food And Agriculture has a mission to promote sustainable agriculture and thriving agribusiness through research and technology development, effective extension and other support services to farmers, processors, and traders for improved livelihood. In fulfillment of this mission, Atiwa East Department of Agriculture organised a study tour for its farmers, processors, and extension officers.
The team stopped at the Richland Agricultural Machinery Limited at Asutsuare. There, they were introduced to machines and modern agricultural implements that could improve their farming activities. Farmers had the chance to ask questions on how the machines operated, their capacity, prices, and arrangement for hiring. Among the machines introduced were; Rice Combine Harvester, Rice Seeder, Boom Sprayer, and Power Tiller.
The group went to see the AGRA/KFW – Ghana Rice Project. This rice sector support project was implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in collaboration with Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) of France. The project is in line with MOFA’s strategy to facilitate the production of food crops to attain food self-sufficiency, output processing and marketing systems.
At Kpong C4 seedline, Mr Kwabla Larweh, a rice farmer who has over 35 years experience in farming and has won both national and district level awards served as the resource person. He educated the group on land preparation,fertilizer use and rate of application, farm management and practices and the various harvesting procedures. Mr. Francis Buama, the rice president, added the names of some chemicals they use.
Farmers had the opportunity to visit the Abians milling center. The processes of the rice milling machine was well explained. Farmers were taught the differences in the grades of rice and best practices that extend the shelf life of rice.
The “head works” of the Kpong Irrigation Scheme was also visited by the team. The group was assisted by Ing Kenneth Tong-Kurug. He illustrated how the Kpong dam is regulated to supply water for farms. He explained the number of gates and the mechanism of siphons in the distribution of water for the Golden exotic Banana farm and the rice farmers.
Farmers learned a lot on irrigation and water management systems. They were educated on simple practices that could help in their farming activities.